World Resource Institute

Cities4Forests Toolbox

Cities4Forests offers a collection of practical tools from around the world to help cities include forests, trees and green infrastructure in their decision-making, planning and investments. The tools cover a range of topics, from valuing trees and forests to maximizing key benefits —such as biodiversity, health, water and carbon — and planning and managing forest-related projects inside and outside their boundaries.

Review our briefer for more information on the Cities4Forests Toolbox.

How do I use the Cities4Forests Toolbox?

The tools are organized into three topics with 10 categories between them:

Why Trees & Forests?

  • Valuing Trees and Forests

Maximizing Benefits for Key Outcomes

  • Health
  • Water
  • Carbon
  • Biodiversity

Planning and Managing Forest-related Projects

  • Engaging Local Communities
  • Planning Forest-related Projects
  • Financing Forest-related Projects
  • Managing and Monitoring Forest-related Projects
  • Procuring Forest-friendly Products

To access a tool, users can visit the tool’s website by following the link in the tool’s profile. The tool’s website will have additional information for interested users. Some tool profiles include detailed case studies to illustrate uses for the tools, focusing primarily on the resulting analysis.

If you’re unsure of where to start, Cities4Forests recommends five tools:

Download Full List of Tools

Why use the Cities4Forests Toolbox?

The Cities4Forests Toolbox responds to a common question asked by cities in their efforts to protect or expand forests at the inner, nearby or faraway scale:

What are the best tools available for my city to help value trees and forests, maximize their benefits and plan and manage forest-related projects?

The Cities4Forests Toolbox is developed specifically for city officials who may apply a tool on their own or with the support of Cities4Forests. Cities4Forests is also working with specific tool developers to help them expand to international locations, especially in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

For example, many of the Latin American cities that Cities4Forests works with expressed interest in understanding how to value the benefits of trees in their municipalities. Based on the Cities4Forests Toolbox research, the iTree suite of tools appeared to address this challenge by quantifying the economic benefits and opportunities of a city’s urban trees. As a result, Cities4Forests helped organize a Spanish-language training on iTree for the cities of GuadalajaraMexico CityCuliacánMéridaLeónPalmas and São Paulo. Now, those cities can measure the value of trees and better inform local policy-makers on how trees can benefit city residents.